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The Programmatic Advertising Revolution: What Economic Development Marketers Need to Know

Programmatic Advertisor for Economic Development working on code and looking at data


If your economic development organization (EDO) has a digital advertising budget, it’s the perfect time to shift your focus toward a programmatic approach. As eMarketer noted this week, nearly four of every five U.S. digital display dollars will transact programmatically in 2017, totaling $33 billion in spend.

US Programmatic Advertising Digital Display As Spending by emarketer

If your EDO has a tough time keeping up with the fast-changing  advertising world, this term may be completely foreign to you. Programmatic advertising is the process of buying and selling advertising in an automated fashion through digital platforms in real time, which provides a more efficient process than the traditional way, where heavy manual labor was involved.

DCI has watched this trend closely and transitioned our clients over to this approach to reap the benefits, including:

Better Targeting:

Gone are the days when advertisers were more focused on the “where” versus the “who.” Through most programmatic platforms, advertisers can now leverage first-party and third-party data, focusing on getting to the right person, with the right message, at the right time. With many variants of data to choose from—including IP address, audience segment, behavioral information, geolocation, cross-device and retargeting—the hyper-targeted approach results in greater relevancy and impact.


Before the rise of programmatic platforms, digital ad buying involved ad buyers and sales people (aka humans) who negotiated and submitted RFPs. By removing the manpower, the purchasing process has become more streamlined, affordable and reliable.

Despite recent news placing programmatic trading in a negative light, companies involved are working to uphold standards in terms of openness and transparency to avoid misplacement and advertising fraud. That said, it’s important to vet each software carefully and learn about their processes, offerings and standards before making the dive.

Has your EDO used programmatic advertising before? Let us know how it’s working for you in a comment below, or tweet us at @aboutdci.  

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